10:53 GMT +325 March 2017
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    Syrian Chessboard: A Prologue to a New Phase of the 'War for Oil'?

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    Are the Middle Eastern realms heading for a new war for oil? Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar are interested in maintaining control over Syria's and Iraq's oil wells.

    The world is about to be dragged into a new oil war in the Middle East, American-German researcher, historian and strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl predicts.

    "It is on one level, a Saudi war to redraw the national borders of the infamous Anglo-French Sykes-Picot carve up of the bankrupt Ottoman Turkish Empire of 1916. This war has as its foolish goal bringing the oil fields and pipeline routes of Iraq and Syria, and perhaps more of the region, under direct Saudi control, with Qatar and Erdogan's Turkey as Riyadh's partners in crime. Unfortunately, as in all wars, there will be no winners," Engdahl writes in his piece for New Eastern Outlook.

    Who will play this "four-dimensional" chess? According to the author, there are at least four groups of actors. The first group consists of the Wahhabi Sunni Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under King Salman, the Erdogan regime, Qatar and their numerous Islamist proxies including Daesh and al-Qaeda affiliates.

    The second group comprises Syria under the rule of Bashar al-Assad, Shiite Iran and their allies in the region. The third actor is Netanyahu's Israel which pursues its own interests despite it has recently concluded "public strategic alliances" with both Ankara and Riyadh. The last but not the least, is the group of the US-led NATO powers, which have their own vested interests in the ongoing geopolitical game, according to the researcher.

    Engdahl notes that Russia's involvement in the Syrian crisis has obviously brought the "game" to a new level: Syria has obtained an opportunity to preserve its sovereignty due to Moscow's support.

    "Erdogan's Turkish military and most especially his Turkish intelligence, MIT, headed by close crony, Hakan Fidan, is playing a key role in the planned Saudi-Turk-Qatari coalitions move to destroy the regime of Assad and at the same time seize control for them of the rich oil fields of Iraq between Mosul and Kirkuk," the researcher underscores.

    According to the historian, Resolution 2254 (2015) (Endorsing Road Map for Peace Process in Syria, Setting Timetable for Talks) unanimously adopted on December 18, 2015 by the UN Security Council members contains a potential "loophole" for Islamists.

    The Resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire in Syria of all signatories, obviously excluding Daesh and al-Qaeda affiliates which do not subordinate to UN orders.

    The Resolution 2254 "requests the Secretary-General to lead the effort, through the office of his Special Envoy and in consultation with relevant parties, to determine the modalities and requirements of a ceasefire as well as continue planning for the support of ceasefire implementation, and urges Member States, in particular members of the ISSG [the International Syria Support Group], to support and accelerate all efforts to achieve a ceasefire, including through pressing all relevant parties to agree and adhere to such a ceasefire."

    In an interview to The New Yorker on December 19 following the vote in the UN Security Council Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underscored that "it is important for everybody to insure that the process will go on, that the ceasefire will hold." "Of course, there is no ceasefire against Daesh [the Islamic State], Jabhat al Nusra [al-Nusra Front], and al-Qaeda," Zarif added.

    However, according to Engdahl, once the ceasefire came into force, Turkey and Saudi-backed Islamists would grasp an opportunity to regain control and seize the oil riches of Syria and then of northern Iraq, thus splitting and ultimately balkanizing the countries.

    Would Syria and Iran be able to prevent such a scenario? Would the ceasefire serve as a "prologue" to a new phase of the Middle Eastern unrest? Would the new transitional government include Syrian President Bashar al-Assad? These questions remain unanswered.


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    Oil, NATO, Sunnis, resolution, Jihadists, ceasefire, transitional government, Shiites, The Syrian war, Daesh, UN Security Council, Al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda, Salman bin Abdelaziz al-Saud, Bashar al-Assad, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, United States, Russia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia
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    • avatar
      You can have all teh wishes you want. But they will face RUSSIA. Russia will not stand aside, back down.. Nor let them in to do their will. Is OVER. LIVE with it.
      Anyways, Erdogan is using that to accuse Russia of lies. While using terrorism in Stria and Iraq.
      Qatar, Saudi , Turkey etc, helped DAESH. And it's creation and arming. So now, don't think no one knows.
    • avatar
      Sometimes writers like Engdahl can out think themselves. The world is moving on from fossil fuels, as typiifed by the Rockefeller's own portfolios that are showing more of a reluctance to invest. Is this a 'shadow game' that is meant to, eventually, gain control of it all? Is it an end game that oil has yet to see its bottom pricing? Is it not strange that there is a strategic decision for The US to dumping their oil into an export market that is already glutted with international exports? And who is buying is another set of questions to be followed up on. In fact, the idea of this all consuming desire by Turkey- Saud and Qatar might be to reduce the value of the crude down to a bag of sand. Purpose? To control by bankruptcy those three countries. You cannot out think the machinations of a silent majority who wants to control it all: Isreal.
    • avatar
      ivanwa88, Scratchy comments. Why would Russia care about someone else's oilfields when they are richer them all? And China has turned to Russia for oil instead of OPEC as its main supplier. To the Far East this is strategic because they do see, as Holmes is wont to say to Dr. Watson, "the game is afoot." Stick with what you know is right and leave the 'itch' for someone else to scratch. :-)
    • avatar
      Tactical Investor
      whichever way you look at it, the war is going to end badly for the house of Saud and Turkey. It could end up with a regime change in both nations.
    • avatar
      Ivan Zadorozhny
      It's interesting, oil is getting cheaper, war is brewing over it.
    • avatar
      If Russia and China with a bit of help from Iran and Iraq with Assad in his saddle can work out a deal all 4 groups mentioned above could go and get sexual relations with each other.
    • avatar
      armorin reply tocast235(Show commentHide comment)
      cast235, we are in good hands, the course is set and the Helmsman is the best, we know where we are going( I say "we" as I really count myself among the suffering millions in the M.E. and suffer morally with and for my fellow Christians there, who will surely return home. They belong to Syria, Iraq, Lebanon.) One thing though, let us not be carried by super-optimism, absolute self-assurance, that we have won already....sort of...No, let's wait, when I hear Pres.Putin and Pres. Assad make a declaration, jointly or separately, I will offer myself the luxury of celebrating and of course of Thanksgiving with humility to God Almighty who endorsed this Historic action, which changed the course of History, I believe. The fight continues. The light at the end of the tunnel is clearly visible. Russia will never give up(to those who might have the slightest doubt).
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